Residents with long term health conditions can now be prescribed 12 month free access to Slough Cycle Hire by their doctor.

The collaboration between the borough council’s public health team and the sustainable transport team Better by, will see the bikes being used as part of their treatment package if referred by a GP or health professional.

Once the referral is made to Slough in Motion the patient will get a 12-month long free pass to use the bicycles at 17 conveniently cycle stations across he borough.

Slough Cycle Hire bicycles can then be used to make journeys around the borough, or a leisure ride around a nearby park, while clocking up activity minutes which could help patients with their condition.

The bikes are available 24 hours a day all year round and are easy to ride, have no exposed chain and are easy to lock up making them a perfect activity tool. The normal cost of a year long pass is £60.

After a successful eight month pilot, the service is now available in all GP practices across Slough, as well as through a range of other healthcare professionals in the borough, including the National Diabetes Prevention Programme, Midwifery and Physiotherapy at Wexham Park Hospital, and the Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust stroke recovery clinic.

Cllr Natasa Pantelic, council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “As a council we recognise that Slough has relatively high levels of physical inactivity, with 34.2 per cent of the population reporting to be physically inactive, this compares to 19 percent in the South East.

“The borough also has 66.8 percent of its residents who are overweight or obese, compared to 60.3 percent in the South East.

“We hope this service will provide residents with convenient and tailored opportunities to get more active, to support their own health and to help reduce health inequalities.”